We were so fortunate to help with the planning of Dr. Verne Weisberg’s recent birthday celebration at their home. Verne’s wife, Tracey contacted me the week before Christmas seeking some help with the overall logistics and design of the event. As Tracey shared with me a bit of background about Verne, I was inspired by his many talents and lifetime achievements as an incredibly successful plastic surgeon, and specifically by his recent years creating the Center for Weight Management and Wellness, formulating lifestyle and dietary changes personally in order to gain a first hand knowledge of Paleo Nutrition and Evolutionary Medicine. Through this journey, he had developed a love of hunting and foraging, while befriending Frank Giglio, a classically trained Chef with strengths in traditional food preparation, sustainable cuisine and using food as medicine. A very dedicated husband and father of three beautiful girls….oh, and did I mention his love of ballroom dancing?? SO much to celebrate!
I decided on a color scheme first: rich, dark purple, dark brown, ivory and green, with copper elements tied in. My brother in law, who’s an avid hunter, lent me some gorgeous antler sheds to accompany some copper pots, pans and other unique copper pieces. There was only one florist I could think of that could complete the design so well, tying in the beautiful wild food elements I wanted to incorporate, along with lush ferns and moss: Jennifer Waitkun of Blue Fern Designs, who was a former Executive Chef and colleague of mine at The Black Tie Company. Her designs were simply amazing, and were compiled of brown lotus pods, deep purple kale, artichokes, mushrooms, herbs and ivory roses (just to name a few!) and completed the look on our old barn beam plank atop their dining room table. Jennifer also created a trio of vegetable terrariums that adorned another guest table. Paired with simple, dark purple yarn wrapped votive candles and silverware rolls with a single pine branch, the table setting was inviting and warm. We brought our inventory of 40 vintage brown and ivory plates, which tied in nicely with the overall design.
Guests were greeted with festive string lights, a roaring fire pit and a signature drink on the porch: pine needle infused tea with bourbon and vanilla. Clear vases were painted copper and held dark purple basil plants and ferns, and pillar candles were tied together with yarn. Vintage tea cups were paired with gold rimmed mugs, all displayed on our newest welcome piece, soon to be added to the website!
Photographs and other memorabilia were lovingly displayed in different rooms, and we added some quotes using a copper leafing pen on dark purple cardstock.
The cake was beautifully made by Chef Frank-Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache!
So many family members and close friends came to pay tribute to this amazing man, and what was especially wonderful was to see Tracey and other close friends (who, turns out were former wedding Clients of mine!) performing music and song, singing of, ‘Primal Verne’-it was adorable! And of course some serious dancing ensued, in their large, in home studio!
The dinner menu consisted of caramelized pear with wilted greens and a mustard vinaigrette, wild rice with pomegranate, pecans, and butternut squash, roasted carrots with feta and kale and a gorgeous roast beef with a red wine reduction. Colorful and beautiful!
Guests enjoyed a beautiful video commemorating Verne, and enjoyed each other’s company for the duration of the event. We were so happy to have been a part of this lovely event! A very special thank you goes to my dear friend Lorna Paige Coolidge for photographing the festivities! Happy Birthday, Dr. Verne!